Southern Utah is a change of scenery from our Colorado Rockies and has incredible endless trail options. I had the pleasure of spending our Christmas holiday in St. George, Utah with my family and discovered a few trails I’d love to share, My first love is Colorado (crazy about Colorado) however I wanted to share these few trails for those who like to explore beyond.
4 hikes that surpassed our expectations and found us in awe of Utah’s unique beauty.
RED CLIFF RECREATION AREA
Located 14 miles northeast of St. George, Utah just off of Interstate 15.
This was a complete surprise! Hiking alongside sand cliffs and entering a narrow canyon just minutes from the start of our hike. Perfect for a short, scenic, and incredibly adventurous day. We found unusual old trees, caves with pictographs, pools of water, and challenging narrow steps that take you farther into the canyon walls. Our hike was family-friendly, however, I think you could go much farther than we did and find a terrific long day hike.
There is much more to Red Cliff Recreation & Conservation Area: >CLICK HERE for all the area has to offer.
MIDDLE FORK of TAYLOR CREEK
Located in Kolob Canyon – a separate part of Zion NP in Zion Wilderness Area. Approx: 40 miles N of St. George on Interstate 15
We are approx 1000 ft higher in elevation from St. George and here there is snow! Luckily I had my winter gear in the car because we needed all of it! Hat, gloves, warmers, and our spikes for snow & ice.
The trail had 65 water crossings as we followed the middle fork of Taylor Creek through red sandstone walls. Was adventurous, to say the least! Most water crossings were frozen and easy to cross. Discovered 2 old homestead cabins along the trail and ended at a Double Arch Alcove. Great fun! We encountered only a few other hikers in winter (just a tip).
Make sure to drive the entire 5 miles out and back in Kolob Canyon, it is stunning: >CLICK HERE for all the area has to offer.
EAST RIM TRAIL
Located in Zion National Park near the East Entrance – Zion Wilderness Area
We originally headed for the popular Zion National Park area but arrived too late (8 am) and the gate was closed as all parking lots were full already! So we headed to the Zion Wilderness Area and found ourselves on a trail mostly to ourselves and loved it.
Beautiful sandstone cliffs, ponderosa pines, and one area that had a deep canyon (Jolly Gulch) that was the highlight of our hike. Everywhere you looked there was a view unlike anything you would see in Colorado. A different and extremely amazing day.
Highly recommend if wanting a moderate trail and longer day trek >CLICK HERE for all the area has to offer.
EMERALD POOLS HIKE
Zion National Park – Utah
Today we arrived at 6 am to get into the Park. (just a tip!) the gate closes when all parking lots are full. (the shuttle was not running during our stay in St. George) Check the website for details on shuttle services.
Since the sun has not yet risen over the canyon walls, it’s bitter cold, yet beautiful. Emerald Pools Trail is spectacular. The pools are low in the winter season but the scenery is breathtaking. Watching the sunrise over the tops of each canyon as we made our way up Emerald Pools Trail was indescribable.
Zion is everything you hear and more! Simply gorgeous > CLICK HERE to download a map & brochure of Zion NP.
SMALL ADVENTURES DURING OUR WEEK
Snow Canyon State Park – beautiful, different, and did short hikes within the Park
Grafton Ghost Town – the graveyard is the best part!
Glitter Mountain – can bring home crystal rocks! Please read new updates on what you can take.
Red Cliffs Desert Preserve – hiking and they had an incredible Christmas Lights Walk in the botanical garden.
Thunder Junction Park – kids loved this park!
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ANOTHER TRAIL IN UTAH NOT TO MISS!
GRANDSTAFF TRAIL – MAY 2021
Not far from the Colorado State Line on I-70 West is Utah’s Scenic Byway 128 that takes you towards the town of Moab. The name Scenic Byway is an understatement, it’s a beautiful drive.
This is a hike definitely not to be missed! We loved it! At the end of this trail, the famous Morning Glory Natural Bridge is a sight to behold. Spanning 243 feet and is the 6th longest natural rock span in the United States. >>> READ MORE!
Can't wait to see you on the trail!
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